Can Man Boobs Grow Back After Gynecomastia?

If I have a gynecomastia breast reduction for men, are the results permanent, or can the man boobs grow back?

Doctor Answers 47

Can gynecomastia recur?

Gynecomastia which arises during puberty, does not typically recur after surgical correction in the absence of other inciting causes. If there is a significant fatty component, post-operative weight gain might result in some recurrence.  If the condition arose from use of medication or anabolic steroids, further use could lead to recurrence.  


Newton Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Surgery Should Be Permanent

If performed correctly, removing most of the breast tissue should be a permanent solution. If the overgrowth of tissue was secondary to an organic disease or to medications or steroids, gynecomastia can certainly recur. Therefore, it is very important that you have an appropriate history and physical exam and medical work-up prior to any surgery. Any issue that caused the tissue overgrowth must be addressed prior to surgery.

Kahlil Andrews, MD
Cedar Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

It doesn't come back if properly treated

The most common reason gynecomastia "comes back" is because it wasn't properly removed the first time. Often patients are told to "wait six months or more for the swelling to subside" only to find things haven't changed that much.

Gynecomastia results are immediate. Recurrence of the tissue is quite rare (I have seen it on one side in 1700 cases).

Find an experienced gynecomastia surgeon and you will be in good hands.


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The Lasting Effects of Gynecomastia Surgery

The #recurrence of breast enlargement is uncommon following #gynecomastia surgery.
However, it can occur. If this happens, you may require further surgery in the future.
Each patient is unique and previous #results are not a guarantee for individual outcomes. As with all cosmetic surgery, results will be rewarding if expectations are realistic. With any surgical procedure, there are some risks which your doctor will discuss with you during your consultation.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Results are permanent unless...

Fat and breast tissue that are removed are gone forever.  Sometimes a patient will think that it has returned but the gland may not have been completely removed during surgery.
However fat cells can re-expand if someone gains enough weight.
And if patients are exposed to some steroids, medications, or develops a tumor  - then it can return.

Steven Teitelbaum, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Is gynecomastia surgery permanent?

Man boobs can be caused by excess fat, but true gynecomastia is caused by the presence of firmer breast tissue. Once this firm breast tissue is removed, it will not generally return. That said, if you gain a lot of weight, the increase in fat can mimic the appearance of gynecomastia. Also, if there is a hormonal cause of gynecomastia that goes untreated you may get a little regrowth since a little breast tissue is almost always left on the back of the nipple to prevent a "caved in" appearance after surgery. Overall though, the surgery should be permament.

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Gynecomastia recurrence

Like a female breast reduction, the tissue that is removed will obviously not "recur".  However, your chest contour will change if you gain weight or increase muscle mass and may appear to contribute to a recurrence of your unwanted chest shape.  Furthermore, because not all of the breast gland is removed during most gynecomastia reductions, there is some potential for the remaining tissue to become hypertrophic again.  This is most likely if the patient ingests substances or drugs that can stimulate enlargement of the remaining gland, such as steroids, hormones, marijuana, and a few others.  Significant recurrence is rare, but usually due to this issue.  Repeat gynecomastia procedures are occasionally (but rarely) necessary.  

Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Recurrent Gynecomastia or Male Breast Enlargement

Results are usually permanent after the extra breast tissue is removed. There are some factors that can cause the recurrance of gynecomastia such as weight gain, steroids, and hormones. As with breast reduction in women, repeat reduction procedures are occasionally required when subsequent enlargement has occurred.

Is Gynecomastia a Permanent Fix

For most patients who have gynecomastia surgery, the results are permanent as the fat combined with tissue that was removed is permanently gone. However, if there is still fat and a small amount of glandular tissue left after the surgery and if patients have hormonal issues or engage in activity such as anabolic steroid use which created the problem in the first place, then it can recur although usually to a lesser degree. Additionally, as patients age and get into their 50s or 60s it is very common for testosterone levels to change and for more fat and glandular tissue development to occur in the chest. You can be comforted that most patients that have gynecomastia surgery do not need a second procedure, but if it becomes necessary at a later point, it is certainly possible to do this.

Robert Cohen, MD
Santa Monica Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Gynecomastia permanent results

If the gynecomastia is treated with liposuction only, there is always a small chance of recurrence since only fat is removed. If the tissue is excised (totally) the risk for recurrence is very small. Leaving a small amount of tissue behind will increase the chance of recurrence and is not recommended in my practice.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.